LA Times wrote:Looming Reunion With Wizards Puts Brown Into the Spotlight
It's only an exhibition game against the Washington Wizards, one that would matter to the Lakers mainly for triangle-offense continuity if Phil Jackson had been the only off-season acquisition.
But because Kwame Brown was also picked up over the summer, there's added intrigue, between a player and his former team.
Drafted No. 1 overall by the Wizards in 2001, Brown was unloaded in August, sent west for Caron Butler and Chucky Atkins, who will both get quality time this season for the Wizards.
Brown will be a starter, and a story line, Tuesday in Bakersfield.
He recently acknowledged he ditched practice during last season's playoffs because he feared he would physically harm All-Star teammate Gilbert Arenas, who told Wizard Coach Eddie Jordan not to insert him into a playoff game, according to Brown.
Brown was suspended for the rest of the playoffs, effectively ending his four-year stay with the Wizards.
Tuesday, there will be Arenas, Brown, Jordan, and the lingering concept of expectations gone asunder.
"No ill will," Brown said Sunday. "I'll go shake [Arenas'] hand. I'll go shake the whole team's hand. Regardless of how some of the players might feel about me or I feel about them, we're professionals."
The Lakers could play the Wizards again Friday if both teams win games Thursday as part of a four-team exhibition tournament at Staples Center.
"I'm kind of glad it came early," Brown said. "Sometimes you can get overzealous against a team that you've been traded from and it can work in reverse. You want to do so well that it doesn't happen for you. I just want to go out and try to stay calm and stay patient."
The Lakers and Wizards play a game that counts Dec. 16 at Staples Center, during which time the Lakers might still be digesting the concept of the triangle.
"We don't have our timing right," Brown said. "Everybody's just looking for Kobe [Bryant], including myself. That would be tough on him, for us to ask him just to run the whole offense and score between three people like he sometimes has to do. We've got to be able to flow."
Brown, who averaged 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds through four pro seasons, is trying to do some adjusting of his own.
"This is such a learning experience for him," Jackson said. "He's still in a situation where he's in a learner's mode, so things instinctively, he's not doing. He's still trying to figure out if he's in the right spot at the right time. We see some essence of what he can be."
The Lakers finished practice Sunday without running extra sprints, without Jackson walking off the court in disgust and without Bryant booting a water bottle in frustration.
"Today we did a much better job of zeroing in and retaining information," Bryant said. "It was a little too loose [Saturday], more loose than I like it to be. Today we got back on track."
Press-Telegram wrote:Pippen gone
The Lakers' coaching staff looked a little less legendary , with Scottie Pippen returning home from his job as training-camp consultant. It has not been decided if Pippen will return later in the season, but Jackson said his former player enjoyed his work.
Asked if he could see Pippen working somewhere as an assistant next year, Jackson added: "If he wants to. I think he'll have opportunities to do a variety of things, color commentating or coaching."
Instead, Odom rallied the team to return and practice free throws, with the exception of Kobe Bryant, who walked off the court after kicking a water bottle.
"This is such a learning experience for him," Jackson said. "He's still in a situation where he's in a learner's mode, so things instinctively, he's not doing."
magius wrote:i know this is unrelated, but if artest can play offensively for a whole season the paul peirce-like way he was playing before the 'incident', i honestly would take him over bryant.
Indy wrote:magius wrote:i know this is unrelated, but if artest can play offensively for a whole season the paul peirce-like way he was playing before the 'incident', i honestly would take him over bryant.
Interesting point. You lose 4-5 points with the switch, but you get more of a lockdown defensive guy...
EGarrett wrote:Considering I was at a club Saturday and Lamar Odom was there trying to pick up a table-dancer and gawking at her like a little boy...I doubt he's really that focused on basketball.
Yeah, he should go to that club and stare at a basketball the whole time (or at Jumaine Jones?) or better yet stay in the arena running laps for Phil all day.EGarrett wrote:Considering I was at a club Saturday and Lamar Odom was there trying to pick up a table-dancer and gawking at her like a little boy...I doubt he's really that focused on basketball.
putodelagoa wrote:Indy wrote:magius wrote:i know this is unrelated, but if artest can play offensively for a whole season the paul peirce-like way he was playing before the 'incident', i honestly would take him over bryant.
Interesting point. You lose 4-5 points with the switch, but you get more of a lockdown defensive guy...
Let's put our bias towards Bryant on the shelve for a while, shall we? Artest may be a gifted offensive player and a great defender, but Bryant can defend, when motivated, as well as Artest, even if he has to relly on other physical gifts that not sheer bulk to do his job. He puts his competitive fire on the court, and not in his fists. Offense wise, he's a game changer, and much more regular than Artest. Simply put, maybe Bryant will indeed become one of the best 2 guards ever, if not the best, as long as he puts his personal agenda behind his back and learns to trust the guy with the 9 titles. As for Artest, I would not trade the 3rd year Pippen for him.
i do not think kobe could be the defender artest is even if he tried, one because artest is huge, and two he intimidates everyone.... not just women from colorado.
kobe will never become the best 2 guard ever.
i wouldnt trade 3rd year pippen for artest too. then again, i wouldnt trade 3rd year pippen for kobe either. so that's that.
the fact you even said that completely annihlates your first sentence "Let's put our bias towards Bryant on the shelve for a while, shall we?" uh huh. yeah. okay. sure.
Do you have any doubt Larry Bird would trade him for Artest if given the oportunity?
The key word here is Maybe. He has the potencial to do so, IF he changes his mind set, which is a big if. He's still young, he has the talent, and he's already a very accomplished player. How many titles did Jerry West won?
Besides, he hasn't still reached his potencial as a player, which will only be fullfilled if he embraces the dreaded team concept. There's room for grouth, and that's scary. He has at least 6 years of dominating play left in him.
LA Times wrote:Brown, Arenas Get Along
Maybe it was the byproduct of a meaningless exhibition.
Or maybe the plot line has run its course.
Either way, there was Kwame Brown on one side, Gilbert Arenas on the other, both of them civil to each other Tuesday, almost six months after a blow-up that ultimately sent Brown from the Washington Wizards to the Lakers.
"No problems," Brown said after the Lakers' 111-108 victory in overtime at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. "I didn't see anything, did you? Much ado about nothing."
Brown and Arenas nearly came to blows during last season's playoffs, when Arenas told Wizard Coach Eddie Jordan not to insert Brown into the game, according to Brown.
Brown then dragged his feet, skipping practice because he feared he would physically retaliate against Arenas, and was suspended by the Wizards for the rest of the playoffs.
Any lingering tensions were kept below the surface Tuesday, apparently dissolving when they tapped fists before the game.
Brown finished with 19 points. Arenas had 27 points and seven assists.
Caron Butler and Chucky Atkins, sent to the Wizards in August for Brown and Laron Profit, played reserve roles Tuesday. Butler, who will probably be the Wizards' sixth man, had 19 points.
Atkins, Arenas' primary backup, had eight points.
Kobe Bryant had 28 points on 12-for-24 shooting, but he missed all three of his overtime attempts, leading to a postgame chat with Coach Phil Jackson, who didn't like Bryant's shot selection in the end.
"I just said that you took a lot of tough shots you didn't have to, you pushed the envelope real far," Jackson said.
Bryant seemed to agree.
"Down the stretch, they were able to load their defense up, and the shot clock was winding down, so I took shots that I don't like taking," Bryant said. "When I get in a roll, when I get in a rhythm, then I'll look to shoot the ball, but that rhythm has to be built."
Thursday will be Jackson's first time back on the sideline in Staples Center, but he won't brush away tears during tip-off against the Denver Nuggets.
"That doesn't really stir my heartstrings that much in that sense, that I get nostalgic about a locker room or a situation like that," Jackson said.
"If we can pull off another championship some time in the next three years, that might be something different."
The Lakers waived Will Conroy, an undrafted guard from the University of Washington who averaged 9.2 points and 4.3 assists in 121 games with the Huskies…. Veteran forward-center Corie Blount was diagnosed with a sprained left foot and will be out indefinitely.
Yahoo wrote:LA Lakers 111, Washington 108, OT
October 19, 2005
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) -- Kwame Brown scored 19 points, including two free throws with 29 seconds remaining in overtime, Tuesday night as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Washington Wizards 111-108 in an exhibition game at Rabobank Arena.
The Lakers' Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 28 points and Gilbert Arenas had 27 for the Wizards. Devean George had 22 for the Lakers.
Caron Butler, who was traded to the Wizards during the offseason in a deal that brought Brown to the Lakers, scored 19 points for Washington.
The Lakers jumped out to a six-point lead in overtime before Chucky Atkins, who was also sent to Washington as part of the Brown-Butler deal, hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 108-105.
Donell Taylor's 3-pointer narrowed the gap to 109-108 with 29 seconds left before Brown rebounded a missed Bryant shot and was fouled on the putback. After his free throws put the Lakers ahead 111-108, Bryant stole the inbounds pass to clinch the win.
Washington led 59-55 at the half and was ahead 97-90 with just under five minutes in regulation before the Lakers rallied to tie it 99-99 at the end of regulation.
Early foul trouble kept Los Angeles' big men from being a factor for much of the game. Lamar Odom and Chris Mihm both had five fouls before the midway point of the third quarter and Odom fouled out with 1:31 left in overtime.
Brendan Haywood led all rebounders with 12. Odom had eight for the Lakers.
magnius wrote:1. winning a league mvp
2. winning another championship
3. winning a finals mvp
3. averaging 33, 8 and 8
4. winning a defensive dpoy
Jackal wrote:How many titles did Jerry West won?
Using titles to compare greatness sucks monkey nuts.
Darko > Garnett. 1 ring to none.
even if bryant hasnt reached his potential as a player (and thats a big if), in a league with lebron, kg, duncan, among others, i dont see him:
1. winning a league mvp
2. winning another championship
3. winning a finals mvp
3. averaging 33, 8 and 8
4. winning a defensive dpoy
LA Times wrote:Parker Finds Niche in L.A.
William "Smush" Parker, the possible answer to the Lakers' fifth-starter question, began his basketball days far from the suburban streets of his current residence in El Segundo.
As a teenager, he was often at "the cage," the infamous New York City outdoor court with boundaries marked by chain-link fences flush against the sidelines and end lines, where hope and hoops intersect.
Parker, now 24, took his whacks on a court once dominated by Stephon Marbury, Mark Jackson, Anthony Mason, Kenny Anderson, Rod Strickland and Mario Elie.
"There's a lot of fouling, extremely hard," Parker said. "You've got to be a man to play in the cage. I took the fouls. I played through the contact. It took adjustment, but it definitely helps you develop your game as far as being mentally tough."
Parker, a 6-foot-4 guard from Queens, N.Y., could turn out to be a Laker starter, although he is relatively unknown.
He attended Fordham for one year before declaring himself an early-entry candidate for the 2002 draft. Nobody selected him.
He was signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Cavaliers and averaged 6.2 points in 66 games in 2002-03 but was not brought back. He played the 2003-04 season in Europe, then bounced back to the NBA for a total of 16 games last season with the Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns.
"I wasn't down on myself," Parker said. "I knew since my rookie season that making the NBA was all about opportunity. I was just being patient. I knew my opportunity was going to come. Just finding the right team … and the right coach."
The Lakers turned out to be that team, signing Parker to a non-guaranteed contract over the summer. The contract becomes guaranteed if Parker is still on the roster in mid-January, all but a certainty at this point.
The Lakers are hoping Parker can make open shots, play strong on-the-ball defense, make the right pass and not turn the ball over. That he won't be the team's first, second, third or fourth scoring option doesn't seem to matter to him.
"It's exciting to think of where I came from to now I'll be starting for the Los Angeles Lakers," said Parker, who received his nickname as a term of endearment from his mother, Lisa.
And, perhaps in certain situations, the skills he acquired from the cage will be put to use.
"You can't really translate street-ball skills to the NBA — you've got to be able to adjust to each game — but there's some cases where you have to be crafty with the ball, crafty in getting into the paint and finding your guys," Parker said. "Sometimes the street comes out."
Guard Aaron McKie has averaged only 1.3 points and 11.7 minutes in three games because of what Coach Phil Jackson called a hamstring problem.
"I'm just trying to make sure that we don't push that to a level where he comes in, he's cold and he goes out there and we have another [hamstring] situation on our hands," Jackson said.
LA Times wrote:He's All In
An excited Buss says Lakers will make playoffs, Bryant will have 'sensational' year, and Brown and Parker are pivotal
Ever the gambler, Laker owner Jerry Buss has dealt himself another new hand, assembling a team that might or might not be a winner, the poker equivalent of a pair of jacks in five-card draw.
He wagered $30 million on a three-year contract for Coach Phil Jackson. He signed off on trading for Kwame Brown, a washout in Washington. He nodded affirmatively when he heard about 17-year-old Andrew Bynum. He oversaw an off-season that brought relatively unknown Smush Parker as a possible starter.
Although most preseason predictions have pegged the Lakers as a borderline playoff team, settling somewhere from eighth to 10th in the Western Conference, Buss expects a postseason appearance. He thinks he's holding a full house.
"I think it's going to be a really exciting year," Buss said late Tuesday night in his first public comments since last season. "I can't imagine a time where you're looking to see what's going to happen and being this excited as I am this year.
"I believe we'll make the playoffs. I have a lot of confidence in that. How well we go beyond that, there's a couple of key factors. Kwame. Can Smush hold his own as a starting guard with a premier franchise? It's hard to say.
"Kobe [Bryant], I think, is going to be sensational. This is the year I think that we've always wished for, and I think we'll see it. Overall I'm excited and I think we're going to do very well."
The Lakers finished 34-48 and tied for 11th in the West last season, a performance Buss doesn't want to repeat.
"I don't think I could take that," he said. "God forbid, injuries and everything, you have to allow for that like we did last year. I personally think if Vlade Divac had played, Kobe had not missed 20 games, Lamar hadn't lost 20 games, we hadn't lost a coach in the middle of the season, Devean George missed 80 games, I think we would have made the playoffs. I was still very disappointed and, regardless of what happens, if we don't make it this year, I will be disappointed."
Eight weeks passed from when their season ended in April to the day the Lakers hired Jackson, as the sides determined just how much of a match they might be. That led, to paraphrase Jackson, to the longest pregnant pause in NBA history.
However, Buss said all has gone well with the $30-million man in the fold.
In a way, Jackson never escaped Buss' periphery because of his romantic relationship with Buss' daughter, Jeanie.
"You've got to remember that even when Phil left, I was having dinner with him every two weeks because of the family connection," Buss said. "It's not like suddenly he was gone and came back. We didn't talk basketball during the summer, but we were always around. I think in the back of his head he knew that this is where he belonged and I think I did too."
Buss senses a renewed and invigorated Jackson, one who has left behind the buildup of five years of expectations that scattered for good amid the fruitless 2003-04 finale in Detroit.
"I think the year off did him a lot of good," Buss said. "I think it did me a lot of good. These things are so tense and so stressful that when you go through five years like that, it's time for a sabbatical."
Jackson returns to a roster stocked with significantly less talent than the one he last guided.
The Lakers remain hemmed in by the salary cap until the summer of 2007, free to try to improve themselves via trades and the draft but facing the reality that signing a free agent who would make a Shaquille O'Neal-type splash wouldn't be likely for another three years, if at all.
Yao Ming and Amare Stoudemire recently signed long-term deals to stay with their teams instead of testing the market in 2007, meaning the next crop of promising young free agents — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony — won't be available until 2008, if they decide to pass up presumed maximum contract offers from their own teams.
Buss remains resolute.
"Our feeling is, sooner or later, if we're in a position to gather an All-Star, we will," he said.
yahoo wrote:LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony had 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Kenyon Martin added 16 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 105-94 exhibition victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
Kwame Brown led Los Angeles with 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting. Kobe Bryant had 15 points and three assists in 30 minutes and was 6-for-16 from the field for the Lakers, who shot 42.5 percent, including 3-for-17 from 3-point range.
Denver opened the game with a 16-3 run that included six of Anthony's 20 first-half points. His 3-pointer gave the Nuggets a 63-53 halftime lead.
DerMarr Johnson's three-point play capped an 11-2 spurt that gave Denver an 81-61 lead with 5:08 left in the third quarter. Less than 1 1/2 minutes later, Martin slammed home a perfect alley-oop feed from Anthony, and the Lakers got no closer than 11 points after that as Greg Buckner and Anthony Miller contributed the bulk of Denver's offense in the fourth quarter.
Phil Jackson, coaching the Lakers at Staples Center for the first time since the 2004 playoffs, got a standing ovation when he took his place on the sidelines toward the end of the pregame shootaround. He acknowledged the crowd with a nod of his head and a wide grin that he usually reserves for championship clinchers.
Nuggets coach George Karl, who has been suspended for the first three games of the regular season, allowed assistant Scott Brooks to coach this game and get a taste of what will be required of him when the Nuggets open the season at San Antonio and then take on the Lakers and Portland at home. Karl was not on the bench, but he was in the arena.
Karl violated NBA policy last May when he attended a workout at Milwaukee that was run by Rick Majerus, the former coach at the University of Utah. He went there to watch his son Cody play, but two players who were not yet draft eligible also were working out -- including Illinois point guard Deron Williams, who eventually was drafted third overall by the Utah Jazz. Karl was also fined $20,000
LA Times wrote:Vujacic Might Go to Developmental League
Struggling second-year guard Sasha Vujacic, whose outside shot has not been falling in the exhibition season, is a candidate for the developmental league, Laker Coach Phil Jackson said Friday.
Vujacic, drafted No. 27 by the Lakers in 2004, has made one of 14 shots, and only one of nine from three-point range, in five exhibition games, numbers that have Jackson pondering the possibility of sending him down to the Fort Worth Flyers.
"Sure," Jackson said. "Anybody's who's under two years [in the league] is an option to go down there. You have a 15-man roster, how many two-year-and-under players do we have in reality? We only have like three or four. He'd be a guy that would be that."
Players in their first two seasons can be assigned to the development league up to three times per season. If Vujacic is sent down, he will continue to be paid his NBA salary and will still be included on the Lakers' 15-man roster, as one of three players on the inactive list.
Vujacic, 21, seemed surprised, even demoralized, at the possibility.
"Hopefully I will stay here," he said. "I have bigger goals in my life than to play in the D-League. Hopefully I will have a chance to play for Phil Jackson and his coaching staff."
Vujacic, who averaged 2.9 points and 1.5 assists in 35 games last season, has rushed his shots and developed a habit that Jackson noticed in Thursday's loss to the Denver Nuggets.
"He was kicking his leg out trying to protect himself a la a Reggie Miller type of thing," Jackson said. "He just didn't have to do that. It was against [Earl] Boykins, who's 5-foot-5.
"He's still conscious that he has to hurry his shot and so we're trying to get him to relax a little bit. He's still a young kid that we want to keep nurturing and keep bringing along."
LA Times wrote:[soze=10]New Tricks for 'Old Dog'[/size]
Lakers' Bryant backs off on teammates and puts his faith in the system working itself out
Certain he could win without Shaquille O'Neal and resolute even as the losses collected at his feet, Kobe Bryant often rejected vulnerability last season.
But with less than two weeks until a new season begins, Bryant is showing a different demeanor, referring to himself as an "old dog" and trying to avoid the constant carping and over-cajoling that irritated teammates.
The triangle offense, never an easy subject to digest, is being reinstalled, and plans call for an un-Laker-like pressure defense, but Bryant seems resolute in an entirely new way.
"I'm not teaching at all," he said late Thursday night. "I try to nudge them along. Sometimes guys come to me throughout the course of practice and they ask me certain situations where to go, and I'll help them along the process, but I really don't want to interfere with their growth. It's important for them to kind of figure out the system and how it works best for them.
"Lamar [Odom] is a prime example of that. What he's being asked to do is exactly what my role was a few years ago. It's something I know inside and out. But I came to that revelation through my own growth and I didn't have anybody on top of me all the time telling me how to do it. I had Tex [Winter] teaching me and I had a couple of old dogs, which I guess now, I'm the old dog. Ron Harper was kind of nudging me along, providing me guidance. That's what I try to do for them."
Backing off is not easy for Bryant, but he says it's necessary if the Lakers are to play beyond April.
"Sometimes it's frustrating because throughout the course of a game, especially in the preseason, sometimes my competitiveness wants to take over and I want to just go outside of me and just go nuts," Bryant said. "But it's not going to help us. It's not going to help us at all. And it's important for me to realize that.
"Sometimes when our offense is breaking down or something like that, it's important just to stay in the system and let the system work itself out because that's how we're going to learn. We're not playing for right now, we're playing for the long haul. It's important to stay inside of that and be patient.
"It's nonnegotiable. It really is. I've made up in my mind it's just nonnegotiable. That doesn't mean I won't be trying to build a rhythm throughout the course of the game to be able to take a game over, especially when we need to do it. But it's important for it to come within the flow of the game. Because that's what is really going to help us grow and evolve."
Laker officials have noted privately a new maturity about Bryant on and off the court, which is not to say things always go smoothly.
There has already been a chat about shot selection, after the Lakers' exhibition victory Tuesday over the Washington Wizards, when Coach Phil Jackson told Bryant he "pushed the envelope real far" late in the game.
Bryant appeared to comply.
"He was pretty tired," Jackson said. "There was no feedback from him. He understands."
Bryant, 27, has logged 21,962 minutes in regular-season games and another 4,556 in the playoffs, a lot of mileage on the NBA track.
He has six more years on his contract and might not see another championship for a while. He can preach tolerance, but he must also practice it if the Lakers are to rediscover paradise, however far off it may seem.
"How long-term is long-term?" Bryant said. "I really don't know. But it's important just to stay patient and do the daily things. If we skip steps, then that long-term could take forever.
"I'm young enough and healthy enough to be able to go through the process and be patient. Hopefully, years from now, we can sit back and talk about the times we were struggling with the offense, but we'll be in paradise [by then].
"Hopefully next year in training camp, we won't be going over triangle 101. Maybe it'll be 102 or 103. Maybe we can advance to triangle physics."
Bryant had 27 points on eight-of-13 shooting and the Lakers beat the Charlotte Bobcats, 109-93, in an exhibition Friday at Staples Center. Chris Mihm had 14 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes, his best in exhibition play so far…. Andrew Bynum was cleared to resume practice Monday, almost two weeks after straining an abdominal muscle.
He (Vujacic) was kicking his leg out trying to protect himself a la a Reggie Miller type of thing
That doesn't mean I won't be trying to build a rhythm throughout the course of the game to be able to take a game over, especially when we need to do it. But it's important for it to come within the flow of the game.
LA Times wrote:Odom Gets the Point Slowly
SAN DIEGO — Lamar Odom, playing his second position in as many seasons, is discovering the nuances of life at the top of the key, as the facilitator in Coach Phil Jackson's triangle offense.
There are nights such as Sunday, where the 6-foot-10 point guard hit Kobe Bryant in stride for an alley-oop, found Smush Parker on the fastbreak for an easy basket and went coast-to-coast for a layup, all in the first quarter.
More often, there have been nights where his no-look passes have floated askew, where Baron Davis has picked him clean, where his outside shot has fallen flat.
Odom, at his new position, remains a metaphor for the team — a work in progress.
"He's struggling," Jackson said before Sunday's 98-97 Laker exhibition victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
"He still has a ways to go and some recognition of what it takes."
A power forward last season, Odom is now fighting off guards while bringing up the ball and has sometimes found himself drifting from the basket after making the first pass to initiate the offense.
He is averaging 10 points in six exhibitions and has made only 15 of 43 shots (34.9%). He has a team-high 26 assists but also a team-high 20 turnovers.
"We're a long ways from saying you've got to throw the baby out with the bath water in this situation," Jackson said. "We really think that the upside of our team is with him at that position. We could go back to Kobe playing that position, but that's going to take a lot of leg out of him, put a lot of pressure on the rest of the team. This is a situation I think that we all look forward to trying to experiment with."
Said Odom: "I feel like I have an IQ for the game and a nice little learning curve as far as learning the offense, but trying to put yourself in position to score all the time I guess is my most difficult part."
Despite a two-week layoff while a strained abdominal muscle healed, top draft pick Andrew Bynum will start the season with the Lakers and not be sent to the development league, Jackson said.
"We really have an intention of getting some experience for Andrew early in the year, so that he has something to measure up against and an idea of what it takes out there," Jackson said.
Bynum is expected to return to practice today.
Laker draft pick Ronny Turiaf scrimmaged with Gonzaga players Saturday, less than four months after having open-heart surgery to repair an enlarged aortic root.
Turiaf, rehabilitating in Spokane, Wash., had three points and four rebounds in 16 minutes. He said he felt fine afterward.
"If I didn't, I wouldn't be out there," he told the Spokesman-Review.
Turiaf's future as an NBA player remains uncertain. The Lakers had no comment.
Chris Mihm had 14 points and 11 rebounds against Charlotte. Bryant had 25 points and Parker had 13.
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